Saturday, October 20, 2012

Lantern Festival in Jinju

Hello to all my family and friends,

So last weekend I went over to Jinju, where one of my friends live.  They were having a Lantern festival! I got to the city around sunset and this is what greeted me:

We had dinner and I got my own personal tour of Jinju, courtesy of my friend Jackie.
 After walking around the town a little bit, it finally got dark and they started lighting up the lanterns. So this is what the festival actually looked like: (left)

If you notice in the water there are smaller floating lanterns that you can send off yourself. They are supposed to symbolize your hopes and dreams. Very cool and fun idea.
Jackie and I met up with a couple more friends and then we hung out on the riverside for about an hour thinking there would be fireworks. Apparently there are none on the last day.
 So we went through a few tunnels that were made of lanterns. It gave off a really cool light and it was fun just to walk through. After the initial lantern tunnel (right) we came upon another lantern tunnel but this one was filled with handmade personalized lanterns.
 Aren't they cool! I took a lot of fun pictures here and then my camera gave out on me. It just stopped working and would only start again after I swore at it, beat it and removed the battery. Such a fickle machine.
 While we were walking around looking at all the lanterns. We saw a really cool dragon one and it also was moving and blowing smoke. So I removed my battery and started taking pictures again. And while I was taking pictures this little boy came up to the fence and started acting like he was defending us from the evil dragon. He was so cute and he posed and everything. Check out the brave knight: ------>

He even had a stick and everything :)

 We kept exploring the festival and crossed the river twice. That was fun because you got to walk on the equivalent of barrels. So the whole experience was quite whobbly. We finally got over to the castle grounds right after shooting off some hand fireworks. (Very fun, and all the Koreans watched us and laughed because we were crazy foreigners afraid of our own fireworks). Anyways there were some fun lanterns on the castle grounds and I even found some that represented the animals of the Chinese calendar.
 There was an area as well where you could write your hopes and dreams on a little piece of fabric and then glue it onto a lantern. We came right as they were closing down so we were really lucky that they allowed us to do one more. There were so many of these 'dream' papers on the large lanterns that some were hung like dreadlocks off the heads and any raised area. Pretty cool but that kinda made the lanterns unrecognizable. It was still fun.
We finished our exploration of the castle around 11:45pm and I was a little concerned about getting a bus because we ran into a couple of foreigners who told us good luck trying to get out of Jinju. It was the last night of the festival and everyone was there. I got to the terminal and when I first got to the counter the ticket person just waved me away. I tried to figure out what he was trying to tell me and as I was looking at the boards to find my city a drunk guy came up to 'help'. Well I said my city and he told me to follow him. He proceeded to yell at the ticket person, he grabbed my 10, 000 won mark and tried to get me a ticket. Well the ticket person came out and told me that there was a bus outside which took cash only, no ticket. The drunk guy was still yelling at the ticket man through the window and he still had my money. So while he was distracted I slipped the money from his grasp and shuffled away, as the drunk guy kept yelling obscenities. I found the right bus and was able to get home around one thirty in the morning. Kinda crazy but I'm happy nothing bad happened, like me getting utterly lost.

It was a blast, the whole weekend. And good news, I went into a Sony shop and let them take my camera. Hopefully they will be able to fix it. Thankfully, I kept the receipt so they said that it will be free. Unless they can't fix it, but it will still be free. Well thats all for now.
Find your adventure, everyone!

1 comment:

  1. HAHA! I love the little boy with the stick! That is so hilarious! That looks like so much fun! When I go to Korea, I'll take you so you can introduce me to your friends so that they can show me around.